TRADE CHIEF:  RP  MUST  STRENGTHEN  DOMESTIC  BASE TO BE COMPETITIVE

MANILA, MARCH 5
, 2010 (STAR) By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio - The country must strengthen its domestic base in order to be competitive in the world market, Trade Secretary Peter B. Favila said yesterday.

In line with this, Favila said he will be creating an industry office within DTI to lead the development of the local industries.

During his speech at the Economic Managers Briefing held at Dusit yesterday morning, Favila said that the country must continue improving its global competitiveness.

We have to compete with other countries in the global market for exports and investments. In order to do this we need to strengthen our domestic base, Favila said.

One of our key strategies is to continue pursuing ICT-enabled growth initiative in collaboration with other government agencies and the private sector. We will focus our work on the five Is: Infrastructure, Investments, Innovation, Intellectual Capital and Information flow, he added.

Favila noted that before the global financial crisis, both the export sector and foreign investment inflows were growing. He said that now that the crisis is over, he is confident that investments and exports will return to precrisis levels.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that export is expected to grow by seven to nine percent this year.

However, in order to continue growing and to recover from the crisis, Favila said that the country must not be complacent and that it must continue to position itself to capture career opportunities.

For his remaining months in the office, Favila said that the DTI will focus on industrial development, pursue information communication and technology (ICT) enabled growth initiative, provide appropriate enabling environment for e-commerce to grow and continue improving national competitiveness.

At the same time, Favila noted that he will create an industry office that will aid in the development of local industries. He said the focus of the new office is specifically for industrial development. Also, he said this new office will be instrumental in negotiating free trade agreements (FTA).

However, he said he might not be able to implement it within his term. Favila is scheduled to step down when President Arroyo ends her term in June. Favila also was not able to specifically distinguish how this new office will be different from a Philippine Trade Representative Office.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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